A PERC test was performed on the soil at field as a first step in determining if that location can even be considered a viable contender in the search for an athletic field of dreams.
A PERC, or perculation test, is a test to determine the absorption rate of soil. In simplest terms, percolation testing is observing how quickly a known volume of water dissipates into the subsoil of a drilled hole of a surface area. Generally speaking, sandy soil will absorb more water than soil with a high concentration of clay or where the water table is close to the surface.
Shortly after Hurricane Irene made the athletic fields unusable and essentially sent the town's fall sports teams to train and compete on neighboring town's fields, Mayor Ann Subrizi appointed an charged with finding an appropriate location for a new multi-purpose athletic field that would not flood.
The committee, comprised of townspeople, Director of Recreation John Bigger, Superintendent of Schools Michael Polizzi, representatives from the Board of Education, NMHS Athletic Director Joe Ricciardelli and football coaches, recommended to the mayor and council in February that the David E. Owens Middle School is the location best suited to support a new multi-purpose community field. This field would be a shared service between the borough and the New Milford Board of Education.
The multi-purpose field would be a turf field and include a soccer, football and baseball field, in addition to two softball fields.
The borough engineer, Margita Batistic, an engineer with Boswell Engineering, reported to the mayor and council that the Results of PERC soil test indicate that the middle school location would be an appropriate site for a turf field.
The prelimianary engineering estimate for the turf field, drainage system, benches and chain link fence is $2.6 million. This amount does not include lighting, which is estimated to be an additional $440,000. That cost also does not include the construction of field buildings.
At an April meeting of the mayor and council, the Field of Dreams committee reported that the approximate cost of installing the drainage system and the turf was an estimated $1.9 million based on $8 per square foot. During that meeting Bigger said that grants will be applied for to help fund the potential project.
At that meeting the mayor and council also discussed that if the borough receives a grant for 75 percent of the cost they will have to fund approximately $600,000, plus the fees to the grant writer. At that time the possibility of corporate sponsorships to help with the funding was also discussed.
Upon hearing the results of the PERC test and the cost of the proposed field, Subrizi acknowledged "this is a big step to take" and said that because she and the council had just received the information, they needed time to review and discuss it.
Do you support the Field of Dreams? Take our poll and tell us how you feel in the comments.
Let Patch save you time. Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. It’s simple and fast: sign-up here.